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Preventing creosote build-up

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by BURNER21, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. BURNER21

    BURNER21 New Member

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    I've seen some articles were the creosote cleaning logs don't work. My question is an old timer(In his 90's) told me that he has burnt an aluminum can in his wood burner about once a month for years and claims it helps. Has anyone heard of this and does it work. Hard to get away from a lot of old timers knowledge but their not always right either. What's your thoughts. I clean the chimney every other year but if it helps I would like to know. Thanks

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  2. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    I never heard that before but my neighbor has burned all his life so I'll ask today. Anti Creo - Soot spray works well, we used it last year and are still using it.


    zap
  3. maplewood

    maplewood Minister of Fire

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    Never heard of the can theory.
    But I've heard of putting potato peelings on a bed of coals - that's supposed to help dry out your creosote and make it fall down to your ash cleanout.
    I just use a brush....
  4. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    If you get the fire hot enough to disintegrate the aluminum can, it is also going to set the creosote on fire in your chimney. So, in a roundabout way there may be some truth to it.

    BUT....it would be foolish to melt an aluminum can in your stove as a substitute for doing all the things necessary to prevent creosote (properly seasoned wood, etc.) and a proper chimney cleaning!
  5. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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    al liquifies @ similar temp as the temp of the flame which is ~ 1300*f. below that temp it'll resolidify as it goes up the chimni. these particles may attach to the creosote on the walls of the chimni but most of the creo deposits near the top of the chimni so its got a long climb.
  6. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    does the spray cleaner erode the flue? i used some last year it not csl spray.
  7. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    This is only our second year using and burning wood and the flue looks the same. The wood stove and flue we had installed brand new in April 2009.



    zap
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    There are lots of posts on this topic. Search on potato peels for example. We had a long discussion about this a few years back. Beer cans have been used, the theory being that the metal salts help break up the creosote. Surprisingly, potato peels are quite popular for this task in some European countries. Teh general agreement is that powdered TSP is more effective.

    The most effective solution is not to let creosote build up in the first place. Burn dry wood and keep the flue warm enough during the outgassing phase of burning so that creosote can't condense on the flue walls. Do this and creosote build up is going to be trivial.

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/8524/
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/10876/
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/28927/
  9. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    thanks
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I agree on the prevention. The potato peel thing was promoted several years ago by The Mother Earth News and they seemed to be pretty high on the idea. It also seems to me that someone else did some experimenting and found the idea to be nothing at all.

    Best idea is to have all of your wood seasoned a minimum of a year, better at 2 years and some even need 3 years. Burn good seasoned, dry wood and don't worry about creosote.
  11. argus66

    argus66 Feeling the Heat

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    i agree just burn good wood and you will not have to touch the garden or the recycling bin.
  12. BURNER21

    BURNER21 New Member

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    Thanks for all your replies
  13. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    +1.

    Best practices for a clean chimney.

    1. Only burn seasoned wood.
    2. Burn at the proper temps.
    3. Inspect and clean when needed on a regular basis.

    No need to add potato peelings, beer cans, fancy chemicals, sacrifice a goat, use the service of a voodoo witch doctor or consulting with a feng shui expert. It really is that simple . . . just follow steps 1-3.

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